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Local Authorities Delays Plan To Introduce Special Pass System Limiting Movement Across Moscow After Massive Negative Reaction Of Citizens

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Local Authorities Delays Plan To Introduce Special Pass System Limiting Movement Across Moscow After Massive Negative Reaction Of Citizens

A photograph taken on March 12, 2018 shows the Kremlin complex and the Bolshoy Kamenny bridge crossing the river Moskva in Moscow. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP

On April 2, Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced that local authorities are not going to impose a mandatory pass pass control mode limiting movement across the city. He said that most city residents comply with the self-isolation regime introduced as part of the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Residents showed a responsible civic stance and solidarity in the fight against coronavirus, against common misfortune. I sincerely appreciate you. Therefore, the pass control mode of movement around the city so far can not be introduced, ”said the mayor.

According to him, the authorities may return to the issue with an increase in the number of violations or worsening of the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, local authorities extended until May 1  all anti-virus restrictions introduced in the city.

Earlier on the same day, Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced administrative fines for violations of the regime of ‘self-isolation’ in the city. The  document (a law of Moscow city) was published on the mayor’s official website. The law provides for a fine for violators of up to 5,000 rubles (~ 65 USD), and for organizations – up to 500,000 rubles (6,410 USD). Meanwhile, in another Russian region, Krasnadar Krai, a fine for violators of the regime of ‘self-isolation’ is 15,000 rubles (~192 USD) and more.

The decision of Moscow authorities to not introduce the mandatory pass control mode of movement across the city goes contrary to previous moves and rhetorics of the Sobyanin team. It has been consistently pushing for further restrictions of freedoms of Russian citizens in the capital as well as blaming them for the lack of motivation to support the draconian measures limiting their basic freedoms and violating the Russian Consitution. However, it seems that by April 2 the negative reaction of the Russians has reached the level when Moscow authorities are no more able to push this agenda and further.

The idea to deploy “smart monitoring” to enforce the new rules and will develop a special pass system for residents to leave their houses was announced by Moscow authorities on March 30 and caused a widespread negative reaction among the Russian society.

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